Student Health FAQ Answers
- Who is eligible to receive medical care at the WWU Student Health Center?
All students enrolled for 6 or more credits are eligible for free unlimited visits to the Health Center, which provides acute illness/injury and chronic condition primary care, including psychiatric consultation, travel clinic, nutrition services, women's health, and sports medicine. We do not provide care to faculty or staff.
- What kind of medical services are available at the Student Health Center?
We provide patient care through the Self Care Clinic, Consulting Telephone Nurse (24 hour), Virtual Visit (24 hour), and Ask the Doc (anonymous Q&A).
- Students may say they missed class due to an appointment at the Health Center. Can't that be avoided?
We endeavor to schedule students for appointments so they will not miss class. However, due to severity of their symptoms, or because of patient volume and demand, we may only have appointment slots available during class time. Students who call early in the day will have their choice of almost 120 same-day appointment slots.
- Faculty often require medical excuses for any missed class due to illness or injury. How does a student obtain an excuse?
Signed medical excuses are provided to students who have missed classes due to clinic appointments or illness/injury preventing attendance in class. Students are encouraged to fill out their own medical statement of absence if it is not clinically necessary to see a health care provider (symptoms resolved or minor) and that statement is date stamped by our receptionist, and releases the Health Center to respond to an inquiry from the instructor about the absence.
Due to the increased demand for our services due to H1N1 influenza, we will not provide medical excuses to students, and do not want them coming into clinic without telephone pre-screening prior to making an appointment.
- What if a student will be absent from class for an extended period due to non-influenza illness or injury?
Emergency Medical Leave of Absence may be provided for medically documented extended absences beyond two days. These are sent by email from Dr. Gibson but the student is responsible for contacting the instructor about making up missed course work.
- What if a student needs to withdraw from class due to an illness or injury?
Hardship Withdrawals from class can be verified by Health Center staff, but are reviewed for approval by the Student Life Office.
- What if there is an outbreak of infectious disease on campus?
Public Health concerns on campus are managed by the Student Health Center in consultation with the Whatcom County Health Department as these illnesses may impact faculty and staff. Although the Health Center does not provide direct clinical care to faculty and staff, it does provide oversight for management of communicable disease outbreaks on campus, such as influenza, hepatitis A, food-borne gastrointestinal illness, measles, mumps, meningitis, chicken pox, tuberculosis, SARS, and whooping cough.
- What if a student is saying they have medical illness but I want to verify what they are telling me?
Restrictions on release of personal health information as regulated by HIPAA prevents our staff from providing faculty or staff any information without specific patient permission, including whether or not the patient was seen in the clinic on the date and at the time in question.
- What if I'm concerned about a student's medical or mental health stability?
The Student Health Center has professional staff with expertise in chemical dependency, eating disorders, attentional disorders, Asberger's, as well as management of suicidal and parasuicidal (cutting, burning) behavior. We welcome referrals of students struggling with these issues any time it comes to your attention.
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